Son of Legal Immigrants: "DACA Cheapens What My Parents Did"

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A son of legal immigrants believes DACA cheapens what his parents did to become U.S. citizens.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals gave temporary legal immigration status to people who came to the U.S. with their parents illegally as children.

President Trump recently ended it, giving Congress six months to find a solution. 

"America is the greatest country in the world," said Ken Yang. "My parents have proven that. I get to live the American dream every single day." 

Yang's parents moved from Taiwan to the U.S. in the early 1980s with his older brother and sister. 

"My dad would tell me stories how he sweated and couldn't sleep at night thinking, 'What if they don't renew my green card?,'" he said.  

But they did.

Yang's parents learned English, started a restaurant and became American citizens in 2000. 

"They love this country," he said. "They are the real American dreamers because real American dreamers understand the U.S. Constitution, understand we're a nation of laws and understand you have to do it legally." 

Unlike his parents, Yang believes Dreamers, DACA recipients, cut in line. 

"We just don't say, 'You came here illegally, I'm compassionate, here's your citizenship,'" he said. "It just doesn't work that way. If that was the case, then let's tell the 4.5 million people waiting for green cards to just hop on a plane, come over here, and we'll forgive you later." 

Yang was born in Benton, which automatically makes him an American citizen. Dreamers weren't born in the U.S. but have spent most of their lives here. 

"I would leave so many things behind here," Alexander Lopez, a 10th grade Dreamer, told us during a Sept. 7 interview with tears rolling down his face. "I would leave so many friends that I've made over the years. It would just be really difficult to get accustomed to how everything works in Mexico."

Yang said he can be compassionate, but it can't take the place of doing what's right. 

"Let's say they don't meet those qualifications to get a green card, then maybe we do talk about deportation because people who don't meet the qualifications to get a green card, they don't get to come to America," Yang said. 

That's what his parents had to do. 

Since then, Yang has run for office, his brother has served in the U.S. Army, and his parents have run their restaurant for 34 years. 

"If you were to ask them would you ever go back to Taiwan, the answer would be no because this is the best thing that could have ever happened to them," he said. 

While Yang and many in Washington call DACA unconstitutional, the ACLU, among other groups, argues President Obama acted within the scope of an executive order. 

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